Audience

Concerts and Events

2014-2015 Concert Season

If you have questions about events, call Lynn at (781) 608-7218.

Print out the latest concert postcard, and please help us spread the word by passing them out to your friends!

Tickets for concerts in Watertown (not house concerts or other events) can be purchased online at BrownPaperTickets.com.

Upcoming Events:

Save the date! The Folk Music Society of New York, Inc., along with associated organizations (The Folk Song Society of Greater Boston and others) and with help and advice from the Country Dance and Song Society, will be running TradMaD (Trad Music and Dance) Camp at Pinewoods Camp. The Camp will run from Saturday August 29 to Friday September 4, 2015 and will be for singers, pickers, and dancers of all ages. Keep an eye on the website, www.tradmadcamp.org, for ongoing updates.

And here's what we presented earlier this season:

 


 

Woody Guthrie

Bound for Glory (Woody Guthrie Tribute)

Sunday, August 10, 2pm
Old Manse, 269 Monument St., Concord

FSSGB is pleased to present "Bound for Glory", a Woody Guthrie Tribute show. This is a free concert performed outside under a tent, adjacent to the Old Manse in Concord, near North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. It features a lot of FSSGB members, many of whom have performed in former Woody shows way back to the 60's, along with newer FSSGB members.

 


 

Moira Craig and Carolyn Robson

Moira Craig and Carolyn Robson House Concert

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 8pm
Newton Corner, MA
$18 at the door
$5 for students (only if reserved in advance)
Reservations required; email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Moira Craig is from East Kilbride, where her family has lived for generations. She has long been recognized by club and festival goers for her superb interpretations of Scottish, Irish and English songs and ballads. A former winner of the "Sidmouth Singer of the Year" award, Moira became more widely known through her contributions to the Pastimes albums. She also has a solo album, "On Ae Bonny Day". Moira has appeared in Britain, Germany and the USA, charming audiences with her clear ringing voice and wonderful repertoire.

Carolyn Robson is a professional singer and musician specializing in traditional folk song and dance. Her extensive repertoire consists mainly of songs from her native Northumberland and Scotland as well as from other parts of the British Isles. Carolyn has a wealth of singing and teaching experience and has made countless club and festival appearances, featuring in HTV's 2004 documentary on Cecil Sharp. She is now widely recognized as one of country's finest female singers.

Together Craig and Robson bring a new dimension to the art of a-capella singing. They weave beguiling harmonies around material from the British tradition and beyond with "an effortless range and variety unheard in folk music for many years" (Folk London). Timeless songs of love and longing rub shoulders with compelling contemporary songs, and passionate, dramatic ballads take their place alongside a lilting Shetland melody or a stirring hymn from the Ozark mountains. The occasional solo song only adds to the variety of their overall performance. Here is a duo in which two distinctively different voices melt into one another to create a sound which is all their own.

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Sara Grey and Kieron Means House Concert

Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 8pm
Brookline, MA
$18 at the door
$5 for students (only if reserved in advance)
Reservations required; email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

After over 40 years of singing, collecting, teaching and spreading traditional music around the world, Sara Grey seems more enthusiastic about her chosen work than ever. "We don't work at it, we just do it. We just open up our mouths and do it."

Once you have heard Sara Grey you will never forget her. She has a certain quality of voice that compels you to give her your undivided attention. Her voice is both powerful and sweet with a distinctive and lovely tremolo. It is a voice well suited to native American ballads and the ballads of Ireland and Scotland. One of the best things about her singing is that it reflects her great knowledge of and feeling for traditional music. She just seems to know what is right in the interpretation of a traditional song. She is a ballad singer of great strength with a fine understanding of the importance of understatement. Her singing is richly emotional and she is equally at home with a gentle lyric or a harsh account of life on the frontier.

It is not Sara's lovely voice alone that makes her one of the most popular singers on the folk scene, on many of her songs Sara accompanies herself by frailing a five string banjo and, when playing dance tunes, it is obvious why she is regarded as one of the foremost exponents of the clawhammer style. As well as singing and playing, Sara is well known for her storytelling - specialising in stories from New England where she grew up learning many of her stories from her father.

Her son Kieron Means has such a tremendous passion when he sings, it goes right to the very core of himself, he's totally immersed the songs. He is a terrific performer on account of just that passion. His voice is especially striking, achieving the rare combination of a high lonesome edge with a warm richness of timbre, and it has a power to move the listener that few of his generation can match. His guitar playing is unconventional, its spareness a mile away from any notion of fancy picking, but it's highly effective, while his stage presence is charismatic, yet laid-back. His songs range from old-time, through the blues - which he sings with startling conviction - to the work of tradition-influenced songwriters, and his own compositions have people, who know a good song when they hear one, nodding in approval.

"When a child grows up with a parent who sings and plays music, it's just part of their lives--it's bound to happen," Sara continued. "Kieron always knows where I'm going. He knows when I'm going to pause, and I know when he's going to pause--even when it's out of context. We just feel it."

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Richard Grainger

Richard Grainger House Concert

Saturday, November 8, 2014, 8pm
CANCELED

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Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer

wheelchair-accessible
Saturday, November 15, 2014, 8pm
Doors open at 7:30pm
First Parish of Watertown
35 Church Street, Watertown
$18.00 general admission, $12.00 FSSGB members and students
All children 17 and under free
(See map and calculate directions on MapQuest)
For public transportation, check the MBTA web site.
This venue is handicap accessible

Purchase tickets online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer are talented singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, educators and record producers. The two-time Grammy Award-winning duo are a formidable powerhouse of sound, with a repertoire of traditional and contemporary folk, old-time country and swing music. Their superb harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on the acoustic & electric guitar, five-string banjo, mandolin, cello banjo, ukulele, percussion and many other instruments. They are ready to engage and entertain audiences of all ages, with a broad following in family music and in American Roots styles. Top it off with a witty stage presence and warm audience rapport and you've got a well loved music duo.

They've earned two Grammy Awards, in 2004 and 2005 for "cELLAbration: a Tribute to Ella Jenkins" and for "Bon Appetit!". In 2003, they were Grammy nominated for their CD, "Postcards" in the Best Traditional Folk Album category. They received another Grammy nomination in that category for "Banjo Talkin'". They produced and performed on Tom Paxton's Grammy nominated "Live in the UK" CD and tour. Tom says, "Cathy & Marcy are at home in a dozen musical styles. They swing you, jazz you, and old timey you till you just give up and bliss out."

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Pub Carol Sing

Start your holiday season with Boston's newest Christmas tradition - the annual Pub Carol Sing!

Sunday, December 7, 2014, 2-5 pm

in the back room at Doyle's Cafe
3484 Washington St.
Jamaica Plain, MA

Sponsored by the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston
and The West Gallery Quire.

Come and sing Carols from the Sheffield, West Gallery, and Sacred Harp traditions (as well as some standard favorites), led by Bruce Randall of The West Gallery Quire.

With special guests, The Paper Bag Mummers, providing merriment and mayhem!

Suitable for all voices and melodic instruments. Music will be available.

Free! (but we will pass the hat for the waitress)

Contact Bruce Randall (melismata@hotmail.com) for more information.

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Trio de Pumpkintown

Tim Eriksen and Trio de Pumpkintown House Concert

Star in the East: A Concert of Christmas Music

Sunday, December 7, 2014, 7:30pm
Cambridge, MA
$18 at the door
$5 for students (only if reserved in advance)
Reservations required; email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Tim Eriksen & The Trio de Pumpkintown present an evening of Christmas music as intimate as the home hearth and as clear as a winter’s night, bringing a fresh acoustic sound to seasonal standards and sing-along classics as well as rarely heard but stunning songs from the shape-note music repertoire and other early American sources.

Here's a video to give you an idea of what to expect.

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Elizabeth LaPrelle

Elizabeth LaPrelle House Concert

Thursday, January 8, 2015, 8pm
Roslindale, MA
$18 at the door
$5 for students (only if reserved in advance)
Reservations required; email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Elizabeth LaPrelle has been performing Appalachian ballads and old-time songs, and winning prizes for her singing at fiddlers' conventions, since she was eleven. Her magnificent voice, her respect for the songs, and her authentic mountain sound and style brought her to the attention of first Ginny Hawker and then Sheila Kay Adams. Raised in Rural Retreat, Virginia, Elizabeth learned from singing with her family, who taught her various singing styles and encouraged her to sing their own favorite American folk music. Fiddler's conventions gave her a chance to perform for mountain audiences who encouraged her interest in the traditional music of her region. She graduated from The College of William and Mary in May 2009, with a self-designed major in Southern Appalachian Traditional Performance. When she is not traveling to make music, she spends her time on her parents' farm in Cedar Springs, VA, or in her mother's childhood home just outside Philadelphia.

Sheila Kay Adams said of Elizabeth LaPrelle "Anyone can learn the old ballads. There are numerous collections in libraries and books that are available on-line. But, Elizabeth is interested in the feel, the sound, the ornamentation of these songs. She is, in my opinion, one of maybe a handful of young singers able to capture the rhythm, the intensity, the breaks and sighs, that make this style of singing authentic. The only problem I have while listening to Elizabeth is that I'm always listening through tears. She reminds me so much of my older relatives - the same profound feeling for the ballad, yet with such a clear voice."

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Members' Concert

Annual FSSGB Members' Concert

wheelchair-accessible
Saturday, January 24, 2014, 7:30pm
First Parish of Watertown
35 Church Street, Watertown
$12.00 general admission, $10.00 FSSGB members and students
All children 17 and under free
(See map and calculate directions on MapQuest)
For public transportation, check the MBTA web site.
This venue is handicap accessible

Purchase tickets online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

The annual FSSGB members' concert is always a popular event. Our members perform songs which range from traditional ballads to original compositions, and from instrumental to a cappella pieces. Some of the instruments that have been played at this concert in the past include violin, cello, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, keyboard and concertina. Some FSSGB members who have performed at this event have gone on to have successful performing careers, such as Elijah Wald, Mark Ryer, Fool's Errand and Merle Roesler.

Our hosts this year will be Ellen Schmidt and Paul Beck. They are a talented performers who play out regularly, often accompanied by fellow FSSGB members. Ellen performs as half of Two for the Show (with Jake Kensinger) and Paul performs as half of Ergo Canto (with Lesley Bryant); Ellen also runs several popular local open mics.

Members are invited to sign up to perform - one song or a spoken word piece. You may perform alone or with others. Some performers have been participating for years; others will do so for the first time. Children are most welcome. The program will feature professional musicians as well as living room folk enthusiasts. All are welcome. The Midweek Singers are an important part of the program as are the many members who show up especially for this event. The audience is always supportive and lively.

FSSGB members (including new members!) are welcome to sign up to perform one song or spoken word piece. Contact Ellen Schmidt at eschmidt01742 AT gmail.com to sign up by January 14th.

Proceeds from this show help keep the Society strong - we thank the performers and the audience for making this event possible.

Click here to hear some recordings done by our talented members!

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Tea with Maggi: An Afternoon of Conversation, Stories, and Songs

Sunday, February 15, 2015, 2-4pm
Newton Corner, MA
$18 at the door
$5 for students (only if reserved in advance)
Reservations required; email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Join us for a tea party with Maggi Kerr Peirce, author of "A Belfast Girl: A 1960s American folk music legend weaves stories of a girlhood on 'the singing streets' of Ireland, marriage in Scotland, and arrival in America."

Born in 1931 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Maggi grew up with an abiding love of red brick factories and the sonorous moan of the foghorns out on the lough. She has since lived in Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, and Edinburgh and came to the USA in 1964. By 1967, she was director of the Tryworks Coffee House in New Bedford, where she coaxed her young folk to turn to a love of traditional music and song.

Maggi became a storyteller quite by chance when, at a performance in 1972, she was asked to step into the shoes of an absent storyteller. She has become known for her matter-of-fact style of telling. She speaks like someone conversing at a dinner table, peppering her telling with pithy asides. Before long, she was asked to take part in various folk festivals in Canada and America as a singer of Northern Irish pastoral songs. One thing led to another. Recitations, stories, and songs had been part of her upbringing. She shared everything.

Along with many libraries, schools, etc., she has performed at Folk Life on the Mall, the Smithsonian, Mariposa - Toronto, the National Festival at Wolf Trap, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Prairie Home Companion, and Jonesborough Storytelling Festival.

A member of the National Storytelling Network, Maggi lives in Fairhaven, Mass., with her husband, Ken.

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Youth Traditional Song and Tune Showcase

wheelchair-accessible
Saturday, February 21, 2015, 7:0pm
Doors open at 7pm
First Parish of Watertown
35 Church Street, Watertown
$18 general admission
$12 FSSGB members
$5 students
Children 17 and under free
(See map and calculate directions on MapQuest)
For public transportation, check the MBTA web site.
This venue is handicap accessible

Purchase tickets online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

This is our third annual showcase of young performers who sing and play traditional (or trad-like) folk songs and tunes. We're accepting applications for performers; if you're interested, please contact youthtrad@fssgb.org.

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Martha Burns

Martha Burns - Two events!

  • House Concert: Saturday, March 14, 8pm, Cambridge, MA
  • Workshop on Carter Family songs: Sunday, March 15, 2-4pm, location TBD
Admission: $18 each, $30 if you attend both events
Reservations required; email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

With an old-time voice that echoes the mountains, Martha Burns sings southern ballads, cowboy songs, comic ditties, turn-of-the-century heart-throbbers, and whatever else strikes her fancy. A gifted solo performer, she has also appeared in old-time duets and with several top-notch string bands. Martha's sensitivity to the traditions from which she sings lends a special richness to all her performances. Her easy manner and warm humor have delighted audiences throughout the United States, as well as Canada and the UK.

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Kim and Reggie Harris

Kim and Reggie Harris

wheelchair-accessible
Saturday, March 21, 2015, 8pm
Doors open at 7:30pm
First Parish of Watertown
35 Church Street, Watertown
$20 for all
(See map and calculate directions on MapQuest)
For public transportation, check the MBTA web site.
This venue is handicap accessible

Purchase tickets online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

Kim and Reggie Harris are dynamic and superbly talented traditional folk performers, whose captivating stage presence and unique harmonies has earned the respect and love of audiences throughout the US, Canada and Europe for over 30 years. They are unique in their ability to entertain audiences of any age and background as they blend their talents as singers, songwriters, educators, interpreters of history and cultural advocates.

Consummate musicians and storytellers, Kim and Reggie combine a strong folk and gospel legacy with a solid background in classical, rock, jazz and pop music. Creative curiosity, years of road and stage experience and interactions with performers such as Pete Seeger, Ysaye Barnwell, Jay Leno, Tom Paxton, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Harry Belafonte and others, has led them to produce music that entertains and inspires.

Audiences at venues such as The Kennedy Center, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Smithsonian Institute, Reunion Arena in TX, the Psalm Festival in Graz, Austria, as well as a myriad of theatre arts centers, festivals, universities and schools, have given this inspiring duo standing ovations for their vibrant performances.

Proceeds from this concert will benefit the First Parish's Helen Robinson Wright fund, which provides assistance for individuals in need.

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Matthew Byrne

Matthew Byrne House Concert

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 8pm
Newton Corner, MA
$18 at the door
$5 for students (only if reserved in advance)
Reservations required; email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Matthew Byrne was born into a family of Newfoundland music makers and his repertoire is heavily influenced by this unique singing tradition. It is a tradition that thrives on the song - the weaving of a great story with a beautiful melody - and Matthew's music reminds us how satisfying traditional songs can be when stripped down to these basic elements. His live performances offer tasteful and honest interpretations of folk songs delivered with polished guitar work and powerful vocals. His repertoire transcends time and place and offers a collection of traditional songs from both sides of the Atlantic.

It has been four years since Matthew burst on to the trad scene with his debut recording, "Ballads" - an album that confirmed his status as one the east coast's most authentic and vital traditional voices. In that time, Matthew's music has traveled well beyond the rugged shores of his homeland. His role as singer and song-finder in The Dardanelles has brought him to many major international stages throughout around the globe including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Celtic Connections in Glasgow, UK, and The Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland, Australia.

Matthew is currently promoting his second solo offering - Hearts & Heroes, an album that brilliantly showcases his musical growth as a traditional singer and guitar player since his debut album, and asserts a new level of musicianship and a skill with interpreting traditional songs. The influence of four years with a powerful and rhythmic trad group is evident in many places throughout this recording. Songs like "Bold Nelson" and "McAlpine's Crew" showcase a thicker band sound and balance beautifully alongside the stark, stripped-down arrangements on the record. Each song is a captivating story delivered with a powerful voice and masterful guitar playing. Hearts & Heroes is available in stores and online.

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Eliza Carthy

Eliza Carthy House Concert

Friday, August 28, 2015, 8pm
Newton Corner, MA
$18 at the door
$5 for students (only if reserved in advance)
Reservations required; email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Describing herself simply as a "Modern English Musician" Eliza Carthy, at 39, is only now beginning to reach the height of her musical powers. During a 25-year journey/career she has become one of the most dazzling and recognised folk musicians of a generation. She has revitalised and made folk music relevant to new audiences and has captured the most hardened of dissenters with canny, charismatic and boundary-crossing performance. Many of the current crop of young professional folk musicians owe their successes in part to her determination, standard-bearing and campaigning spirit.

Yorkshire-born and based in Edinburgh since 1997, Eliza, daughter of legendary British folk icons Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson, grew up immersed in the world of traditional English music. She has lived a life based on the philosophy that it is a genre worthy of and equal to any other, and that musicians need no boundaries and deserve no restrictions to what they do as artists.

Touring on and off since the age of fourteen, Eliza has appeared at a huge number of live events, multi-artist concerts and benefits from Robin Hood's Bay Village Hall to the Albert Hall. She has been a part of three Meltdowns at London's Southbank: those of Nick Cave, Patti Smith and Richard Thompson. This year she has been invited to curate her own three day event at Kings Place in London.

Eliza rarely performs solo, so this is a very rare treat, and we expect it to sell out and gather up a long waiting list! Be sure to make your reservations quickly.

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